Dumbcane; Leopard Lily; Dieffenbachia
Poisoning caused by consumption of plant material from the Dieffenbachia (mother-in-law plant) leaf.
- oxalic acid
- a protein found in this plant
- Dieffenbachia (mother-in-law plant)
Note: This list may not be all inclusive.
- body as a whole o burning in mouth o swelling of tongue o swelling of mouth
- eyes, ears, nose, and throat o burning in throat o hoarse voice o eye pain o corneal abrasion
- gastrointestinal o nausea and/or vomiting o diarrhea
Wipe out the mouth with a cold, wet cloth. Give milk to drink.
Wash eyes with water if exposed.
Before Calling Emergency
Determine the following information:
- the patient’s age, weight, and condition
- the name of the plant and parts eaten
- the time it was swallowed
- the amount swallowed
Poison Control, or a local emergency number
They will instruct you if it is necessary to take the patient to the hospital. See Poison Control centers for telephone numbers and addresses. Bring the plant with you to the emergency room for identification.
What to expect at the emergency room
- Treat the symptoms.
Oxalate plants may cause swelling severe enough to block the airway, but this is very rare.
by David A. Scott, M.D.